Nectar in a Sieve

This essay has a total of 1012 words and 4 pages.

Nectar in a Sieve


Nectar in a Sieve is a work of literature written in the mid 1900s. This work describes
the effect that modernization and industrialization had on the farming families of India.
During this time many traditional values had to be overturned by the people in order to
keep up with the changing times. Many farmers lost their land and many people died of
starvation due to bad harvests and inflating prices on goods. This novel specifically
describes the life of a woman, Rukmani, and how her family was affected and the activities
she and her family had to perform in order to survive. This work is very good in
describing the life of a woman at this time and it will make you realize the hardships
that these people had.

There are several traditional values that are handed down to an Indian couple that are
expected to be followed and continued. First of all the biggest tradition is that the
parents choose whom their children will marry. Upon discussion with another child's
parents they choose who is going to get married to one another. In the novel, Rukmani's
and Nathan's parents decided they were good for each other so they set them up to get
married.

After marriage, more of these values are expected to be carried on is the way the family
decisions are made and the ways things are done. The male is known as the authority figure
in the family. An Indian woman has to abide be what the men say and basically allow him to
run the show. This does not say that he has no responsibilities, because that is wrong be
all means. He has a responsibility to support the family and show the children how to work
the fields and support the family.

It is essential for a woman to have male children to continue these traditions. The males
are needed to work on the farms to help support the family and even more importantly, to
maintain and keep the farms up and running. In Rukmani and Nathan's case, Rukmani had a
baby girl name Ira. This did not meet the standards of a typical Indian family so she
continued to try and have another baby but failed. For the next few years she was unable
to have a child. When she realized nothing was working, she secretly went and visited a
doctor by the name of Kenny. Kenny did what he had to, to allow Rukmani to have more
children. When Ira was seven, Rukmani's first male child was born, Arjun. She continued to
have children, all males, until she had a total of six. Nathan now had males to help him
farm the land and continue these family traditions and values.

With all of these men in the family it looked like it was going to lead to a very
successful family until modernization and industrialization came into town. At this time a
Tannery came to the village. This was thought as a good idea for some people in the town
but Rukmani and Nathan saw it as a bad thing. Their two oldest sons left the farm to go
and work in the Tannery. This caused problems and concerns for the family because they
thought that they would be looked down upon by the people in the town for not keeping the
typical Indian family traditions up. Rukmani and Nathan did not totally agree with this
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